Nick Cutsumpas calls himself a “plant daddy.”
The 26-year-old Kips Bay resident, who works for Arianna Huffington’s startup Thrive Global, has turned a passion for agriculture — he claims to have grown tomatoes in his apartment with moderate success — into a lucrative side hustle.
Plant-owning novices still need guidance. “Some people want me to go buy the plants for them. For others, it’s like picking out a wedding dress,” says Cutsumpas, who makes an average of $300 per project. “You get your friends to come, you want everyone to be there. It becomes an event.”
A financial consultant who works from his Bushwick home, Sean Valentine, wanted his flat to have “some life in it.”
Valentine, 28, contacted his friend Maryah Greene, 23, a third-grade teacher who moonlights as a plant consultant. Like Cutsumpas, she finds most of her clients via Instagram (though she and Valentine are childhood friends).
“I became known as the crazy lady who’s always fixing someone’s plant,” says Greene, who posts advice on Instagram about choosing low-commitment flora and treating yellowing leaves. Her account @Greene.Piece, she says, has earned her about 20 clients in the last year. Greene takes home between $50 and $160 depending on a project’s budget and scale. (Her day rate is $250.)